What To Wear for
Business travel. It's a great
way to build your career but can be a real
challenge when it comes to packing. If you're
going someplace you've never gone before for
business travel, the first question that pops
in your head is, "What in the world am I going
This is a very real concern. Not only do you
want to make a great impression, particularly
if you're meeting with a client for the first
time or trying to close a big deal, but you
want to "fit in" with the locals and not pack
your entire closet in the process.
So how do you do it? With advance planning, capsules, and a
few business travel tips and
1. Check The Weather
Find out what the weather's going to be like at your
destination. Just log on to www.weather.com and type
in the zip code or city name of the place you intend to
visit. It will return a 10-day forecast and give you a good
indication of what to expect weather-wise.
If your business trip is more than 10 days out, you can
check historical averages for the area and get a good idea
of what's in store. Also, if you suffer from asthma,
allergies, or other respiratory illness, you can learn the
local health indicators for pollen, mold spores, etc. All
in all, a handy site to have in your business travel
2. Inquire About The Dress Code
If you travel even a little, you've probably already
discovered that dress codes can vary significantly from
city to city and region to region. Don't assume ANYTHING!
It will cause you unnecessary grief. This is particularly
true in international business travel.
Be as specific as possible. If your hostess says, "We'll
be having dinner at La Maison de Snob. The dress is
casual," find out exactly what casual means to her. Shorts
and flip flops? A skirt and blouse? No tiara? What?
Now this may seem a little obtuse--unless you've made this
very faux pas in past business trips. Let me give you an
I once attended a creative thinking seminar given by an
energetic speaker who could have easily found a second
career as a stand up comedian. He was hilarious. In his
polo shirt and khakis, he was pinging all over the
During the seminar, he relayed an embarrassing situation
he'd encountered on a recent trip to Chicago. It seems that
on his way to the 44th Floor to give his creative thinking
seminar to a group of executives, he was stopped from
getting on the elevator.
Why? Because he wasn't wearing a coat and tie. He'd come
in his "standard uniform" of polo shirt and khakis, which
was how he was most comfortable teaching his class.
At first he thought the guard was pulling his leg. But
when his 8:30 am start time came and went as he argued with
the guard in the lobby, he demanded to speak to the seminar
contact. The coordinator confirmed that he would, indeed be
required to don a coat and tie. He had to wait until the
stores opened at 9:00 so he could go buy the required
clothes. The class started an hour late, and his company
lost the training contract as a result.
Who was at fault? The person who arranged the meeting.
Who ended up paying the price? The one who came in from out
The lesson? Don't count on your business contact to tell you
what you need to know. Ask so there's no question. If you don't
feel comfortable enough with your host or client to do this,
call the local Chamber of Commerce to see what's appropriate
business travel attire. Or, if you'll be traveling abroad,
contact your country's embassy in your destination city to find
out what to expect.
Don't leave your business travel attire to chance.
Your career is too important!
Need more help
in building your business travel
wardrobe? Grab a copy of Business Wear
author and image consultant Diana
Pemberton-Sikes to discover how to increase
your income by dressing appropriately for
your line of work. You can find it online
Other Business Attire Articles You Might